How to Clean Coffee Stains From Stainless Steel

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Things You'll Need

  • Liquid dishwasher soap

  • Boiling water

  • Hydrogen peroxide

  • Baking soda

  • Sponge

Coffee drinkers know all to well that coffee stains. Not only clothing, but also teeth, dishes, counters and other areas where the brown liquid may fall. Coffee stains can be difficult to get off of many surfaces, including stainless steel. Luckily, several items that most people already stock in their kitchens and medicine cabinets can be used to clean coffee stains from stainless steel thermoses, countertops and appliances.

Clean Coffee Stains From a Stainless Steel Mug

Step 1

Squeeze about a tablespoon's worth of a liquid or gel-based dishwasher soap into your stainless steel travel mug or thermos. Be sure you have rinsed the mug of fresh coffee before adding the soap.

Step 2

Fill the thermos almost to the top with boiling water. Most travel mugs can hold about 3 cups of liquid but some stainless steel thermoses have a larger capacity.

Step 3

Cover the stainless steel receptacle with its lid loosely. If you screw the cover on tightly, you'll risk an explosion from the combination of the boiling hot water and soap.

Step 4

Shake or swirl the thermos gently to activate the dishwasher detergent. Shake over a sink to avoid spilling hot soap water on yourself if the lid leaks.

Step 5

Let the hot cleaning liquid sit in the stainless steel mug for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 6

Pour the soapy mixture out of the mug and rinse with water until the water runs clear. The coffee stains should be eliminated. If brown stains remain, soak the stainless steel for a longer period of time.

Clean Coffee Stains Off of a Stainless Steel Surface

Step 1

Create a paste with 1 part first aid-grade hydrogen peroxide and 2 parts baking soda.

Step 2

Dab the cleaning paste on the coffee stained area of the stainless steel surface (appliance or countertop). Test a small, hidden area first to be sure it does not lead to discoloration of your countertop.

Step 3

Allow the paste to stay on the coffee stain, undisturbed, for a few minutes. Rinse away and see if the stain is still visible. Add more paste if the stains remain.

Step 4

Wipe away the baking soda-peroxide mixture with a damp sponge when you see no more traces of the coffee.


Erica Roth

Erica Roth has been a writer since 2007. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a college reference librarian for eight years. Roth earned a Bachelor of Arts in French literature from Brandeis University and Master of Library Science from Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Her articles appear on various websites.